Monday, November 24, 2008

Around the Bend - A Monday's Ride

Well, it's sort of vacation time. And it's not raining or snowing. So, the road-bike is in play. Nat and I set out from the local Starbucks around 6:30am, and head out around the bend of the Columbia river. Mostly because we haven't ever been there and it's an appropriate distance for our current lack of conditioning. It's dark, below freezing, and the fog from the river dominates for awhile.

Fog frozen on roadside plants

The usual happens - ice in the beard. Cold toes. Nat's hydration pack hose collects ice. Mine doesn't - electrolytes. I'm toying with bailing; but, around Wallula I'm 'committed'.

As we get beyond Wallula the fog starts to break, and we're biking through the gap. It's spectacular. It's a truck route; but, the traffic is tolerable. The shoulder on the road (US 730) when entering Oregon get's too narrow for comfort. Light traffic though. Some folks are fishing in the Columbia as we ride by. The route is amazingly flat. We take it in and then we're in Umatilla. My favorite stop is the Tesoro. I have the coffee and chips; Nat goes with the subway. Here's a pic:

Still Life - Rando Style

Finally, we're left with the climb over Clodfelter. We do it. It takes a good amount of time - we're working, but not so hard that we can't talk. Then we get the descent. Still cold; but, easy work. Next month is a 200km.

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